From Microscopic Compartmentalization to Hydrodynamic Patterns: New Pathways for Information Transport
Can we exploit hydrodynamic instabilities to trigger an efficient, selective and spontaneous flow of encapsulated chemical information? One possible answer to this question is presented in this paper where cross-diffusion, which commonly characterizes compartmentalized dispersed systems, is shown to initiate buoyancy-driven hydrodynamic instabilities. A general theoretical framework allows us to predict and classify cross-diffusion-induced convection in two-layer stratifications under the action of the gravitational field. The related nonlinear dynamics is described by a cross-diffusion-convection (CDC) model where fickian diffusion is coupled to the Stokes equations. We identify two types of hydrodynamic modes (the negative cross-diffusion-driven convection, NCC, and the positive cross-diffusion-driven convection, PCC) corresponding to the sign of the cross-diffusion term dominating the system dynamics. We finally show how AOT water-in-oil reverse microemulsions are an ideal model system to confirm the general theory and to approach experimentally cross-diffusion-induced hydrodynamic scenarios.
KeywordsTransport of chemical information Compartmentalization Water-in-oil reverse microemulsions Buoyancy-driven instabilities Cross-diffusion Multi-components systems
F.R. was supported by the grant ORSA149477 funded by the University of Salerno (FARB ex 60 %) and gratefully acknowledges the support through the COST Action CM1304 (Emergence and Evolution of Complex Chemical Systems). M.A.B. gratefully acknowledges Regione Sardegna for financial support in the framework of “Asse IV Capitale Umano, Obiettivo Operativo l.3 Linea di Attività l.3.1 del P.O.R. Sardegna F.S.E. 2007/2013 - Progetti in forma associata e/o partenariale C.U.P. E85E12000060009” and the European Space Agency (ESA) Topical Team on “Chemo-Hydrodynamic Pattern Formation at Interfaces”.
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